6th August 2018
WILLIAMS PB HEADLINES BRITISH EFFORT AT BERLIN UNDER-20 MATCH
Lauren Williams (coach: Wynford Leyshon; club: Swansea) smashed her personal best as she, Chad Miller (Ryan Freckleton; Hercules Wimbledon) and Jason Nicholson (Janice Kaufman; Gateshead) all recorded victories to help Great Britain & Northern Ireland to second overall in their under-20 international match with Germany and France at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
Williams took over a second off her personal best, clocking 58.09 as she dominated her rivals in the women’s 400m hurdles at the iconic venue in the German capital while Miller clocked 10.45 for victory in the men’s 100m and Nicholson took the win in the 110m hurdles.
Miller and Nicholson’s performances helped the men to victory and Williams’ personal best placed the women third with the British team second overall, just shy of the title. For Williams it was the perfect response to missing out on last month’s IAAF World Junior Championships.
She said: “I just really wanted to get 58.5 because that was the standard for world juniors and I hadn’t hit it. All season I had been chasing that time and I hadn’t run a perfect race until now. I hit my stride pattern bang on and, a second off my personal best, I can’t believe it, it is a dream.
“I was in so much shock but really happy. It is bittersweet because I would have like to have done it before selection [for world juniors] but it has given me so much confidence going into winter training. I know I can run the times. The target is European under-23s now, so only half a second more and I am there and if I can take a massive chunk off like that, it gives me so much confidence.”
For Miller the experience was particularly relevant with Usain Bolt having set the 100m world record of 9.58 at the same venue in 2009 and the experience has him in high spirits.
Miller, who missed out on a spot in the 100m final of the World Junior Championships by 0.02s, said: “I was in the same lane as Usain Bolt when he broke the world record, lane five. The stadium was so big and it is like a little taste of what is to come or what could possible be if I carry on progressing the way I am. It was very nice to experience.
“I have dropped six tenths in the 100m this year. I have had a bit of a change in events. I normally do the 200m but I was running very fast in the 100m and I have surprised myself and I am really pleased with how I have done.”
Nicholson was the second fastest European in the 110m hurdles this season with a time of 13.32 set at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Tampere and said: “It went really well. It was the second fastest time I have run this season and to do it in Berlin, which is a really nice track, and win always helps to make the experience better.
“The track and stadium was really nice. Even though I knew it was an Olympic stadium, it was still bigger than what I expected it to be the track was really nice and the people that were there created a good atmosphere. I have had a really good season this season and hopefully I can repeat it next season.”
Three British athletes just missed out on top spot in their respective events. Isabella Hilditch (John Blackie; Blackheath & Bromley) finished runner-up in the women’s 100m hurdles, with her time of 13.84 (+0.1m/s) 0.6 seconds behind winner Sacha Alessandrini of France.
Silver in the women’s javelin went to Bethan Rees (Andi Drake; Cardiff) with a distance of 46.97m, while Jade Spencer-Smith (Ellie Spain; Harrow) was runner-up in the women’s pole vault after clearing both 3.65m and 3.80m at the first attempt.
Calum Henderson (John Scott; Edinburgh) finished on the podium in the men’s long jump, with his best jump of 7.12m securing third place and four points for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Daniel James Thomas (Judy Oakes; Eastbourne) added three points to GB & NI’s total by finishing fourth in the men’s shot put with a distance of 16.44m. There was also a fourth-place finish for Thomas Keen (Mark Vile; Cambridge & Coleridge) in what was a close battle with Germany’s Maxmillan Sluka and France’s Quentin Malriq for the final podium spot in the men’s 1500m.
In the women’s high jump, Emily Race (Peter Anthony Fendley; Worksop) finished fifth.